tv U.S. Senate CSPAN September 11, 2012 5:00pm-8:00pm EDT
administration used the flimsiest of arguments, granted themselves the authority to waive federal welfare work requirements. and whether or not what they, the obama administration intends to accomplish with these waivers is good welfare policy has been the subject of robust debate. i'm not here to argue the merits or lack thereof of the underlying welfare policy goals of the obama administration. what i am here to do is to make a plea to my fellow senators, as senators we simply cannot let this action stand. if we fail to stand together as senators in defense of our constitutional duty to be the ones to draft legislation, we might as well pack up our bags and go home, because we will have opened the door for this administration and future administrations to unilaterally decide they can waive precedent, congressional intent, and actual
legislative language as senators have scrupulously debated and compromised on. if we do not stand together as the united states senate, we will be ceding our authority to the executive branch. the long-standing implications of this could possibly extend to welfare, medicare, medicaid, disability policy, child welfare, social security programs. and this is just mentioning a few. allow me to elaborate. according to obama administration, because section 1115 of the social security act allows them certain waiver authority over section 402 of the social security act which deals with a state's welfare plan, and section 402 cites section 407, then the administration has waiver authority over section 407 which enumerates state welfare work requirements. madam president, this just doesn't make any sense.
i've been a leader in the senate on welfare for nearly two decades. i helped draft and manage the floor during the 1996 overhaul of welfare. five years later i worked across the aisle with john breaux from louisiana and others to craft the so-called -- quote -- "tri partisan proposal" for welfare reorganization. the breaux-hatch proposal became the basis for the senate finance committee bill that was marked up in the summer of 2002. much of the work senator breaux and i accomplished made its way into the personal responsibility and individual development for everyone, the so-called pride bill that was reported twice out of the senate finance committee. in all that work on welfare, not once, not one time, not ever was there any discussion of allowing states to waive state work requirements. if anyone had raised it,
republican or democrat, they would have been laughed out of the room, and for good reason. the crux of the deal and the most integral feature of the 1996 act was to give states flexibility to design their own welfare programs, but also require them to meet meaningful performance measures. the idea that anyone would contemplate allowing states to waive these performance measures would have been preposterous, even ludicrous. so allowing the executive branch the authority to waive welfare work requirements has never ever been a part of any discussion of welfare reform. and since i've been a major -- and since i have been a major worker on this, there's no -- it's never been part of any at all welfare reform discussions.
i would really know if it had been. the concept of the executive branch having the authority to waive the 1996 welfare work requirements also did not occur during the previous two administrations. it just never came up because no one thought it was possible. the administration likes to point to a 2005 letter from governors in support of the pride bill as justification for their unprecedented action, but what they fail to note is that this letter was not sent to president bush. it was sent to members of congress who the governors correctly believed were the only ones with the constitutional authority to give the states flexibility. now this point bears repeating. until the july 12 informational memo to states, no one ever thought the executive branch could waive welfare work requirements. i would even venture to speculate that the obama
administration itself does not seriously think it had the authority to waive welfare work requirements. and here's why i suspect that this is the case. one of the few bipartisan bills that was actually enacted during the 112th session of congress was legislation that i wrote with my partner on the senate finance committee, chairman baucus. this legislation, the child and family services innovation and improvement act, included a provision that i drafted that allowed the department of health and human services the authority to grant certain child welfare waivers. it specifically allowed h.h.s. to waive provisions included in section 4-e of the social security act. congress gave h.h.s. that authority because the congress had been asked by states for flexibility to waive certain provisions of section iv-e.
because everyone consumed the executive branch could not waive section 407 of the social security act, no one believed they could waive title iv-e of the social security act. but, mr. president, if you go and look up section 402, just as there is a reference to section 407 containment in that section, so too is there a reference to title iv-e. if the administration really believes in their heart of hearts that they have carte blanche to waive whatever is even mentioned in section 402, why did they have to wait around for congress to give them that authority? their answer, of course, is that they never had the authority to begin with, and i believe even they know that to be true today. i'm talking about the administration. the executive branch. but the real issue, mr. president, beyond the rhetoric is that if the senate
lets this action stand unchallenged, if the senate does not speak as one body united, then our inaction will embolden this administration and future administrations, i might add, to bypass the constitutionally mandated job of the congress to enact laws whenever it suits their pleasure or political aims. in other words, will take over the legislative function. the congress does not have many tools in our tool kit to thwart administration overreach, but one of those few tools is the congressional review act. the c.r.a., as it is referred to, allows for senate fast-track authority to disapprove a rule that is submitted from an agency. in the event that an administration attempts to try and circumvent the c.r.a. by issuing other forms of guidance, that should have been submitted as a rule. the government accountability office, which has standing with
our senate parliamentarians, can determine that an agency action meets the definition of a rule as established by the administrative procedures act and that the, and that, therefore, the c.r.a. applies. last july chairman dave camp and i, chairman of the ways and means committee, and i asked the g.a.o. to determine whether or not the so-called guidance to states submitted by the obama administration was a rule applicable to the c.r.a. last week chairman camp and i received word that the g.a.o., the determining body, had determined that the welfare waiver policy was in fact a rule and subject to the c.r.a. this week both chairman camp and i will introduce resolutions of disapproval under the c.r.a. for the administration's welfare waiver policies. the house will mark up and pass
their resolution this week. the senate can act under fast-track procedures which limit debate beginning the week of september 24. i have taken the floor today to ask that the senate pass my resolution of disapproval on a unanimous vote. it is imperative that we send the executive branch the unambiguous signal that the senate's ability to craft legislation to do the work tasked to us by the constitution will not be trifled with by this or any other administration. if the senate does not speak with one unified voice on this issue, then i firmly believe we will have forfeited our relevance in future debates over welfare, medicare, medicaid, foster care, and social security, just to mention a few. if any administration can capriciously deign themselves to have unlimited waiver authority over anything mentioned in
provisions referred to in sections 1115, then the united states senate is for all intents and purposes irrelevant. sure we can have our debates and develop our expertise and write our laws, but colleagues, that won't mean a hill of beans if an administration can come along and just waive everything we've worked so hard to try and get right. colleagues and friends, we just can't let that happen. i know many in this chamber support president obama. i know also that many of these same senators wish he had not taken this action. but as members of what i still believe is the greatest deliberative body in the world, we have to put partisanship aside for the greater good of the senate. i cannot imagine if senator byrd were sitting here today that he would allow this to happen. and i can't imagine that anybody on either side of this floor would allow this to happen. we will have to send as strong a signal as possible that this
executive overreach will not stand, that no matter what our political persuasion, the united states senate stands together and we will speak with one voice to say in no uncertain terms that we will not be ridden roughshod over, that our constitutional rights as lawmakers will not be trampled on, and that we will do everything within our power to preserve and defend these rights. to that end i urge colleagues to support my efforts to stop this unprecedented executive overreach. support the resolution to disapprove. support the senate. let's stand up for this body. whether you're democrats or republicans, we have to make it clear to the other two branches of government that we have certain rights, that we have certain powers, that no president and no court can overrule. it's important that we stand up on this issue. and if we don't, i hesitate to say what could happen in the future.
and it ain't going to be pretty. all i can say is this is an important issue. it's one every senator in the senate ought to consider important, and we ought to set partisanship aside and do this in the best interest of the senate and in the best interest of our legislative ability to act. mr. president, i suggest the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
mr. brown . the presiding officer: the senator from iowa is recognized. a senator: i ask unanimous consent that rebecca sedwick and rebecca flannery be granted floor privileges for the duration of today's session. the presiding officer: without objection, so ordered. mr. harkin: mr. president, i come to the floor to talk again on the devastating so-called ryan budget, which, of course, is now the romney-ryan budget. and i will speak about that very
shortly, but before -- i also wanted to focus some attention on the -- how the ryan budget is preventing us from getting a farm bill this year. we have a farm bill that we passed in the senate but the house can't get it done. earlier this year, the senate passed a bipartisan farm bill. it had broad support of republicans and democrats. all farm groups, consumer groups, environmental groups. so with all of that support, you would think it would be easy for the house. but the house has not followed suit. unable or perhaps unwilling to bring the farm bill to the house floor, they've similarly refused to take up the senate bill. so our farm policy has languished at a time when literally farm country is burning up because of a drought. and this week, as i understand
it, the house is going to adjourn and go home without taking any action on a farm bill. leaving our farmers and ranchers in the lurch. when all the house needs the to do is take up the senate-passed bill and passed and send it to the president. he'll sign it. we passed the bill here, republicans, democrats, all the farm groups, consumer groups, environmental groups, all support it. we even made a $23 billion contribution to reducing the deficit in the farm bill. well, it seems worth noting one of the reasons that the house can't act is seemingly because of the ryan budget. which, of course, as we know is just a proposal. the house has passed it, i think they voted on it 34 times, if i'm not mistaken but the ryan budget calls for draconian cuts to our federal
nutrition programs. that's the snap program, otherwise people know as food stamps, that helps low-income families, or helps a family that may be modest income but are lost a job and need a transition for one or two months before they get back on their feet. it helps with summer 2350eding programs for kids, elderly field goal programs for low-income elderly. immediating programs that go into daycare centers. in other words, it's the idea we have an abruns and -- abundance and we're going to use that abundance to make sure no one goes to bed hungry and people have adequate nutrition in our society. well, the ryan budget made a draconian cut in the nutrition programs. and many of the house republicans are saying they won't support a farm bill that doesn't have those draconian cuts.
which i'm proud to say the senate bill does not have. and i hasten to add as the former chair of the senate ag committee i've long advocated cutting wasteful ag spending. for years i led the effort to get rid of direct payments which the senate bill does, finally, contributing to as i said a $23 billion in deficit reduction. so this situation i think really shows what the ryan budget is. it's emblematic of the ryan budget. not only is the ryan budget devastating for working and low-income americans, but its insistence, its insistence on cutting benefits for low-income americans is getting in the way of setting commonsense policy for our farmers and ranchers as well. it's remarkable that so many people in the house would say that in the middle of an
historic drought, i'm not going to vote for a farm bill that's important to our farmers and ranchers, i won't vote for it unless i can cut nutrition benefits for tens of millions of struggling americans. that's what the house republicans are saying. they won't sphroart a farm bill -- vote for a farm bill that would help our farmers and ranchers that is supported by every major farm group, all the consumer groups, the environmental groups, supported here in the senate by a lot of republicans, it was a bipartisan bill, by the ranking member of the -- of the ag committee, senator are roberts of kansas, former chair of the agriculture committee in the house. we passed that bill. and yet the republicans in the house are saying unless we have these draconian cuts to nutrition programs, we won't pass the farm bill. that's the kind of my way or the
highway attitude of the tea party republicans in the house. if they can't have it their way, their very narrow way, they won't let the rest of the house act. they won't take up a bipartisan bill passed by the senate. well, mr. president, it's stunning, stunning what the house is refusing to do and refusing to pass a farm bill. all i can hope is that someone over there comes to their senses and gets that farm bill through before they adjourn and go home. mr. president, since we recessed, since we recessed around the first of august and just came back yesterday, our colleague on the house side, congressman paul ryan has become the vice-presidential nominee
for the republican ticket under, of course, governor romney who has got the nomination for president. congressman paul ryan is not an unknown entity. not an unknown quantity. he has been around a long time, he has been chairman of the house budget committee, and he has put forward the so-called ryan budget twice. well, what is a budget? a budget is a blueprint, like you build a house, you have to have a blueprint. well, a budget for a city council is a blueprint for what they want to do for the city. a state budget talks about how the state is going to move. it's forward looking. what are we going to do in the future. federal budget is the same way. it's our blueprint. it's a blueprint that we want for how we're going to move our country forward. so we have the ryan budget and i
think it's fair for to us take a look at that blueprint and let the american people know just what's in that budget. now, really we face a fundamental choice in this year's election. are we going to restore, rescue, rebuild the struggling middle class or are we going to shift even more of our wealth and advantages to those at the top at the expense of the middle class? well, republicans have made clear where they stand. they did so when nearly every republican in congress voted for the ryan budget plan, and governor romney embraceed -- embraced the ryan budget as -- quote -- "marvelous, marvelous ." as i said yesterday, it's not exactly a word i think most americans would use to describe something they liked. but i suppose if you're having tea at the ritz and you're in that class of americans, well, you might use the word to
describe it as marvelous. well, the very centerpiece of the ryan budget is a dramatic shift of more wealth to those at the top. targeting huge new tax cuts for those at the top. here's what it would do. $265,000 more per year for someone making over a million dollars a year in income. now, that's on top of the $129,000 they're already getting from the bush tax cuts. so the ryan budget would extend the bush tax cuts and put $265,000 on top of the $129,000 which comes to about around 400,000 a year. if you're making a over a million dollars a year. now, we're going to hear a lot in this -- this fall, here a lot about entitlements, cutting
entitlements. we got to get a handle on entitlements, people, and when they talk about entitlements, mostly republicans talk about those programs that go to help people who are at the bottom rung of the ladder. they're talking about things like the snap program, the nutrition assistance program. or they're talking about job training programs or maybe title 1, things i'm going to talk about in a minute on education. but what about this entitlement? this is an entitlement. if you are making over a million dollars a year under the ryan budget you will be entitled, entitled to over 4 -- $400,000 a year in tax cuts. no one talks about taking away that entitlement but that's an entitlement. well, the republican tax cuts would total $4.5 trillion over ten years.
$4.5 trillion. how do they pay for it? well, they don't want to say. they don't want to say. but budget experts, tax experts understand this game very well. the republican budget would partially offset these tax cuts by making deep and draconian cuts to programs that undergird the middle class and are essential to the quality of life in this country. everything from education, student grants and loans, law enforcement, clean air and water, food safety, medical research, highways, bridges, other infrastructure. lastly, the republicans offset these new big tax cuts for those at the top by actually raising taxes on the middle class. now, you heard me right. the ryan budget would actually raise taxes on the middle class. the nonpartisan tax policy
center estimates under the republican plan middle-class families with children would see their fasms go up on average by more than $200 -- $2,000 a year. and the bottom line is the ryan budget does not reduce the deficit. the ryan budget has a deficit for the next 28 years. 28 years. the savings they gain by cutting all of these programs that undergird the middle class and by raising taxes on the middle class basically the lion's share is going to go into tax cuts for the top wealthiest americans. the truth is representative ryan is not interested in balancing the budget. 2040, even under the best asumses his budget would not balance until 2040, 28 years from now.
so as i've said, mr. ryan is obviously an acolyte, an acolyte of former vice president cheney who once said in kind of an unguarded moment, deficits don't matter. remember that? that was vice president cheney said that. obviously george w. bush and his administration took that to heart because peeve we've had the biggest deficits in history for the eight years that george bush was president. now mr. ryan, he doesn't care about deficits. he only cares about tax cuts for the wealthy. well, they just believe if you just give more and more and more to the top, it will magically trickle down on everyone else. and we know that doesn't work. the romney-ryan republican plan is extreme and unbalanced. i'm not making this up. you don't are to take it that from me. even former speaker house speaker newt gingrich called it
-- quote -- "right-wing social engineering." that's what newt gingrich called it, right-wing social engineering. well, newt you got that one right, anyway. his name -- the name of representative ryan is to use the deficit crisis as a pretext for degrading and dismantling everything from medicare and medicaid to education, environmental protection, workplace safety, medical and soift roix -- scientific research and on and on. he doubles down on the theory if only we give more to those at the top it will magically trickle down. today, mr. president, i'd like to focus specifically on the devastating impact of the romney-ryan budget on education. on education. it is an unprecedented, unprecedented assault on education funding. and a grave threat that this poses to school reform efforts
across the united states. mr. president, i have an unusual perspective on this issue as both the chair of the appropriations subcommittee that funds our federal education programs, and i might point out pour the last 23 years i've either been the chair of that appropriations subcommittee or ranking member. i've been on that subcommittee since 1985, and i'm also now the chair of the health, education, labor and pensions committee which authorizes the education programs, and i've been on that committee since 1987 and served under distinguished chairmen, senator kennedy, senator kassebaum, senator jeffords, senator gregg from new hampshire, senator enzi. and now i chair it. so for all these years i've been on both the authorizing committee and on the appropriations subcommittee.
i must tell you i've been heartened by the exciting work being done in schools across the country to improve the quality of instruction for our students, to close the achievement gap, graduate more students who are -- quote -- "college and career ready." 45 states and the district of columbia have collaborated to create high quality common education standards, common core standards. the obama administration's race to the top initiative has jump-started ambitious state-level reforms to turn around the nation's lowest performing schools. in the help committee, which i chair, working with senator enzi this year we reauthorized on a bipartisan basis the elementary and secondary education act, positive changes are happening in america's schools. however, it's wishful thinking
to continue to expect improvements if we continue to lay off tens of thousands of teachers, increase class sizes and reduce instructional time. as i said, senator enzi and i worked very hard to get a reauthorization of the elementary and secondary education act bill through our committee, bipartisan basis. but but we've been unable to get it on the floor so we'll have to do it again next year. but if you look at the ryan budget, if you look at the ryan budget, we will be laying off tens of thousands of teachers, increase class sizes and reduce instructional time. is that where we want to go as a country? as i said, this plan which has been embraced by governor romney would cut nongefns discretionary spending by 18.9% in fiscal year 2014. next -- not this upcoming
fiscal year but the next fiscal year. so let's take a look at what a cut of that size would mean for federal education programs. let's take a look first at title 1. you say title 1, people say what's title 1? that is the cornerstone of the federal government's support for elementary and secondary education this this country -- in this country. the purpose of title one and, by the way, this has been in the law since 1965. 1965. a great society program, i might add. and it has done a world of good for our schools all across america. because its purpose was to help all students, especially those from disvarngd backgrounds meet high academic standards. title 1 money goes to more than 90% of the nation's school districts. schools have a lot of flexibility with title 1 funds but they use the money mostly to pay the salaries of teachers and
teachers' aides who are helping students who are in danger of falling behind. well, under the romney-ryan budget, more than 10,000 schools across the country would lose their title 1 funding. in fiscal year 2013. more than -- 2014, more than 27,000 teachers would lose their jobs. so not only would this hurt are students, it's going to put more people out of work. now, this title 1 program is about $14.5 billion a year. it's a national program. what we basically said in 1965 and we have said every year since, that yes, education is a local -- elementary and secondary education is basically a local and state function.
but we want come in and help those areas that have low tax bases, high proportion of underprivileged kids from low-income families, we want come in and hem because there's one thing we know, a poorly educated child in one state won't necessarily grow up to be a burden in that state. that child can move to another state. and so as a national policy, we said in 1965 and we have said every year since under republican presidents and under democratic presidents, republican congresses and democratic congresses, we have said that title 1 is an important national program, an important national program. the ryan budget if enacted would close more than -- would not
close. i would just say that more than 10,000 schools would lose their title 1 funding. well, let's take a look at another important education program, one particularly close to me. that's the individuals with disabilities education act. again, this has been in the law since 1975, since 1975, the funding for this is about $11.6 billion a year. now, again, under the ryan budget, the romney-ryan budget, states could lose funding for approximately 25,000 special education teachers, aides, and other staff serving children with disabilities, again, in the year 2014. 25,000. just in one year, 2014. special education teachers. again, i want remind everyone as i've said many times on the
floor that states are required to provide a free and appropriate public education to students with disabilities. now, a lot of people say this is a federal mandate. this is not a federal mandate. it's a constitutional mandate. even if the federal government didn't provide one nickel to any state for idea, the state would still have to provide a free appropriate public education because the courts have decided that if a state provides a free public education for students, it cannot discriminate. before they said they couldn't discriminate on the basis of sex, national origin, race, brown versus board of education, and under park v. pennsylvania, another case, they said you can't discriminate on the basis of disabilities.
you can't say we're going to collect taxes from all these people you family, you with the kid with the disabilities, you're out, that kid doesn't get an education. that's unconstitutional and i think you would recognize that is unconstitutional. so states have a constitutional requirement if they provide a free public education to provide that free appropriate public education to kids with disabilities. so even if federal funding was cut the states would still have to pay for it. they have to educate their students with disabilities. so if the romney-ryan budget were to pass, then would would happen is we would offload this education to the states. and what would happen? your state and local taxes would go sky-high. states and communities would still have to pay their special education teachers. if they're not getting enough from the federal government, they'll have to find their own tax revenues to make up the
difference. just keep in mind, under the romney-ryan budget, approximately 25,000 special education teachers would not be funded under "idea" in 2014. think about that. now, let's turn to higher education. higher education. since 1972, we have provided what has been known as pell grants named after former senator claiborne pell. pell grants to students who want to go to college, students who qualify because of low income. hm. another one of those terrible entitlements, right? if you're low income, you want to go to college, you get a pell grant. it has been a life saver for so many families who otherwise could not afford to send their kids to college. as we know, a college education now is more important than ever. new jobs in every industry, from
manufacturing, construction, health care, public administration require workers who have the skill and the education. look what happened just in the recent recession. workers with a college education have led the economic recovery. people with a bachelor's degree or better have gained 2 million jobs since the end of the recession. meanwhile, workers with only a high school diploma or less have lost more than 230,000 jobs. there are over -- i just saw a figure the other day, there are about 2 million jobs in america that are there but they're not being filled because of lack of qualifications for the workers. this is education. so one would hope that the rom if i-ryan budget -- romney-ryan budget which they tout for creating jobs woul wout a high priority on getting people into college but it does just the opposite. in fiscal year 2014, nearly 10 million students would see --
could see their pell grants fall on an average of more than a thousand dollars. so again, under the romney-ryan budget, the average -- now, this is an average -- the current average award is $3,831. under the romney-ryan budget, in 2014, in one fell swoop it would go down $2,599. for some students, that cut could mean the difference between whether they pursue higher education or not. now let's go to the other end of the educational spectrum. i started out talking about elementary and secondary and high school. now i'm talking -- then i talked about college pell grants. let's look at preschool. preschool. back in 1992, the council on education funding, consisting of
most of the c.e.o.'s of our large corporations, came out with a study and report on education and what did business need, what did business in america need in the future looking at education. and they spent, i don't know, two or three years having hearings, investigating, doing all that kind of stuff. what did that report come out -- now, this is a report from the business leaders of america. what did they say in that report? that education begins at birth and the preparation for education begins before birth. the whole finding was, we've got to put more into preschool education. that's 20 years ago. 20 years ago. last year, just last year the u.s. chamber of commerce, 20 years later, came out with another study. this is the u.s. chamber of commerce. this is not the social scientists. these are hardheaded business people. what did they say in the u.s.
chamber of commerce report? we've got to put more money spew preschoo -- moremoney into pres. well, we at the federal level have been doing that through a program called head start, and we've had head start, i think if i'm not mistaken, since about 1968. high-quality early childhood education has been proven to save taxpayer dollars in the long run by reducing the costs for welfare, special education, and, might i add, criminal justice. read that -- jail time. one of the highest correlative -- in fact, if i'm not mistaken, the highest correlative factor for people who are incarcerated in our prisons is the lack of a high school education. urn the romney-ryan budget, up to 200,000 low-income children
and their families could lose access to head start, again, in fiscal year 2014. i'm not talking about over the next ten years. i'm talking about in one year, 2014. we have about 970,000 children in head start today. in 2014, 200,000 could leave if the romney-ryan budget were enacted. that's their blueprint. i have to keep reminding folks. we talked about the romney-ryan budget, that is their blueprint for where they want america to go. this is where they want america to go. now, let me talk about a related topic and it has a lot to do with education and that's child care funding. child care funding. e child care and development block grant provides subsidies to low-income working families
to help pay for child care. now, these are families that are working, they're looking for work, they depend on these subsidies to do so, otherwise they wouldn't be able to work. by this point, it will come at no surprise that the romney-ryan budget could force approximately 95,000 low-income children across the country to lose access to high-quality child care in fiscal year 2014. 95,000. well, mr. president, i think you get the picture. the romney-ryan budget is a devastating assault on education at all levels. preschool -- well, child care, which a lot of these components have education. head start. elementary h education. secondary education. title 1.
"idea." special education. pell grants for college. all devastatingly reduced. again, not over ten years, in year one, 2014. i'm struck by the fact that this budget of mr. ryan's is being proposed at a time when america's competitors are surging forward. china has tripled its investment in education and is building hundreds of new universities. even in times of austerity and shrinking budgets, smart countries don't turn a chainsaw on themselves. they continue it invest in the -- to invest in the future and the most important investment in the future is an investment in education. in the months ahead, congress will likely focus on reducing the deficit, and this is appropriate. certainly any strategy for solving our fiscal crisis must include sensible spending cuts.
but we shouldn't jeopardize our long-term economic growth and recovery by slashing education. we have a saying out in farm country, you don't eat your seed corn. and our children today, that's our seed corn for the future. you don't throw them on the thrash heap. -- on the trash heap. mr. president, on their own, the romney-ryan budget cuts to education just defy commonsense. but kind of nut a broader context of their whole budget plan in its entirety, these cuts aren't just ill-considered, they really smack of class warfare. the romney-ryan budget demands nothing whatsoever -- not one dollar -- from the wealthiest, most privileged people in america.
essentially the romney-ryan budget is robinhood in reverse. it robs from the poor and gives to the rich. so, let's get this straight. the american people need to know this. this is their blueprint. under the romney-ryan budget, we have devastating assaults on education. last night i covered health care. others will cover other topics. the senator from california covered transportation and infrastructure. so, again, under this plan, the united states -- under romney ryan -- should set aside $4.5 trillion over the next decade for tax cuts, most of it going to the wealthiest 2%. but, under the romney-ryan budget, we cannot afford to sustain funding for public
education. in addition, congressional republicans specifically want to take away the $2,500 american opportunity tax credit used by many middle-class and modest-income families to help cover college costs. again, because of republicans' determineation to further lower tax rates for the wealthy, many other middle-class college tax benefits are at risk. this is outrageous. this approach does not remotely reflect the priorities and values of the american people. mr. president, we can't -- we can't be dragged backward into a winner-take-all society where the privileged and the powerful seize an even greater share of well, even as our middle class is struggling and declining. for nearly half a century, robust federal investments in quality public schools and access to higher education have
been a critical pillar undergirding the american middle class. the romney-ryan budget takes a jackhammer to that pillar. going back to the 1930's, the american people have supported and strengthened a uniquely american social contract. that social contract says that we will prepare our young and care for our elderly. that contract says, if you work hard and play by the rules, you'll be able to rise to the middle class and even beyond. that social contract says that a cardinal role of government is to provide a ladder of opportunity so that every american can realistically aspire to the american dream. in one fell swoop, the roo romny romney-ryan blueprint would rip
up that social contract. it would replace it with a survival of the fittest, winner-take-all philosophy that tells struggling, aspiring communities, tough luck, you're on your own. as president clinton said in his speech last week, there are two philosophies at work here: the romney-ryan blueprint budget which says, tough luck, you're on your own. if you win the lot rirks you're okay. if you don't, too bad. or the philosophy being proposed by president obama and so many of us here that we're all in this together. the rising tide lifts all boats. that we have a social contract, that we have adhered to for nearly 80 years now. we'll invest in our young, care
for our elderly. we'll make sure there's a ladder or ramp of opportunity for the middle class. the tough luck you are on your own philosophy of the romney-ryan budget is not the kind of america that our -- that my parents wanted or that they built for that are children. it is not the kind of america that my neighbors in iowa or across this country want to see. so in the weeks ahead, our nation faces an absolutely fundamental choice: again, i repeat, are we going to reserve coulrescue, restore on d rebuild the middle class or are we going to shift even more advantages to those at the top at the suspension of the -- at the expense of the middle class? mr. president, accumulation of riches by the wealthiest in our society is not the same as
wealth creation by a society. if we were truly interested in creating wealth by our society, we should be investing in education, making sure there is a ladder or ramp of opportunity, by making sure that the benefits of our society go to those with new ideas and new information and those people may be kids from very low-income families, they may be kids with disabilities. that's true wealth creation of a society, not just giving more to people at the top. so, again, the romney-ryan budget makes exactly the wrong choice, exactly the wrong choice. i disagree with that budget. america remains a tremendously wealthy and resourceful nation. again, when you listen to romney
and ryan budget, when you look at it, it's sort of premised on the fact that we're busted, we're broke, we can't afford child care, we can't afford title 1, we can't afford pell grants, we're broke. but we can find tax breaks for the wealthiest. and we're not broke. america remains the wealthiest society, the wealthiest country the world has ever seen. we have the highest per capita income of any major nation. so it kind of begs the question, doesn't it, mr. president, if we're so rich, why are we so poor? why are we so broke? because there's been a misallocation of capital, more and more going to fewer and fewer, not enough being used to educate our kids, provide a good college education, make sure we
have the highest qualified teachers in all of our schools, that we have the best principa principals, that we have a school system that is second-to-none in the world. that's the kind of america that we should have and that we can afford to do. we can aad ford do -- afford do this, if we have the right blueprint, the romney ryan budget takes done the wrong road. the middle class is the backbone of this country. we have to rescue, restore, and rebuild it. and we need leaders who have the backbone to do that for our middle class. it's not in the romney-ryan bucket. -- it's not in the romney-ryan budget. i spoke about what would happen in education. next i'm going to talk about what's going to happen to working families, what's going
to happen to people in america when we take away some of the protections they have so they don't get injured, they don't get sick, so that they can show up for work every day healthy? so we're going to look again at the devastation of that. others will come on the floor and talk about the infrastructure and what that means for america. well, i don't often agree with newt gingrich, but he was right. this is right-wing social engineering. we don't need that in america. but, mr. romney and mr. ryan have put their sta stamp of appl on it and the american people need to know what's in that budget, and we intend to tell them between now and the time that we adjourn and go home. mr. president, with that, i yield the floor. and i --
the presiding officer: the senator from maryland. mr. cardin: thank you, mr. president. i want to thank senator enzi for his patience in allowing me to peek for a few minutes in regards to the 11th anniversary of september 11. i would ask unanimous consent to speak as if in morning business. mr. president, i rise today to join my colleagues in commemorating the 11th anniversary of september 11, 2001. the tragedy of 9/11 is forever seared in our nation's consciousness. the attacks in new york, pennsylvania, and virginia were intended to crush the american spirit but instead galvanized it to yo new strength much the memories are still raw and the pain is real. it is for the 3,000 people who perished that day that i stand here on the floor of the united states senate and ask for everyone never to let go of those memories. on that day, terrorists showed their utter lack of humanity.
we responded by showing the best side of ours. we suffered a grievous loss on that day, but we must remember that we are a strong and determined nation and we will defeat those who want do us harm. many of those responsible have been hunted down and brought to justice. in the case of osama bin laden and many others, justice was brought to them. now there's no doubt that those who wish to do harm know -- to america know that they do so at their own peril. today it is clear our men and women in uniform and our intelligence community will never rest. they will never waiver. we have come a long way since september is 1 and we owe so much to those men and women and the families that support them. today we join together to show the world that our nation is united and resolve to defend our freedom and safeguard our liberty against any enemy.
we also take time to remember those who perished on september 11 and to remember their families with a special prayer. we reflect on the heroism of firefighters, police officers, medical workers, city officials, and ordinary citizens who gave their own lives trying to save others. each of us has been affected by 9/11. on september 11, we showed the world a brand of resilience that could only be made in america. in the minutes, hours, and days after the atax deduction the americans showed their -- after the attacks, the americans showed their propensity for sacrifice and selflessness. the reawakening of the american spirit guided us through those weeks directly after the attack. men and women waited in line for hours to give blood. children donated their savings to help with relief efforts. community-sponsored clothing drives, different faith groups held interfaith services. our response showed the world
that americans have an unquenchable love of freedom an democracy. now 11 years later i stand before you always remembering the stunging, clear day that was to be forever ingrained in our national identity. my prayers are still with those who suffered, those still suffering, and those we lost. but time has taught me that the way to honor the victims of 9/11 is to come together as we did in the days and months after 9/11. on that day we were truly united. september 11 it was not an attack on blacks, whites, christians, jews, or muslims or even on conservatives or liberals. it was an attack on all of us, and we came together accordingly. we helped our neighbors and we helped strangers. we reaffirmed our commitment to justice and the rule of law. on that day, we were reminded that the best parts of america's characteristic will forever triumph any opponent. i stand before you, i encourage
all americans to nurture the best part of our common characteristic. what is that characteristic? it was the selflessness and courage of a new york city firefighter running into a smoking tower and you the stairs when everyone else was running down. it's the composure, confidence, and decency of bystanders helping perfect strangers. it was the sense of country that caused others to enlist in the war on terror. it allowed for the empathy, not hate, to define us afterwards. on this day, let us not only mourn for those we lost, but let us vow to them to be as good as they would expect us to be. 9/11 was intended to bring this country to new lows, but instead we achieved new highs. keep the memories of 9/11 in our hearts and let them guide our actions. actions that show each other and the world just how good we really are and just how good we can be.
it was written, and i quote -- "there are those who will say that the deliberation of humanity, the freedom of man and mind is nothing but a dream. they are right. it is the american dream." end quote. 9/11 was a nightmare, horrific and cruel as it was, it cannot extinguish the dream. mr. president, i yield the floor. a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: i would like to speak as if in morning business. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. enzi: mr. president, i have often said how blessed i am to have found a group of people who are strongly committed to the future of wyoming, the west and the united states to serve on my staff. if being a senate staff were an olympic event, i have no doubt that i would be the coach of one of the senate dream teams, and i believe that they would be the
gold medal winners. i'm that proud of them. today i'd like to express my appreciation to one of my long-time staffers who will be returning home to run a business in wyoming. she is wendy ganine. although we're going to miss her, we're also proud of her decision to return home to raise her family with her husband ed because there is just no better place for families and children than wyoming. we wish them both the best and we are confident, as she is, that they have made the right decision. although wendy has been a part of my staff for quite some time, her family, her husband's family and my own family have been close for a lot longer than that. wendy's mother sharon was the one who first introduced me to diana, now my wife, on a blind date in denver when sharon was in town looking for a bridal gown. it wasn't long thereafter that diana was looking for one, too, which means we knew wendy's parents long before she was
born, so we have known wendy for all of her life. i remember when wendy was in high school. she had set her sights on coming to washington to serve as a page in the united states house of representatives. it was a difficult goal, but with her determination, her abilities and her good grades, she was able to make it happen. wendy's time in washington as a page must have given her the idea of coming to college here, which she then began to pursue in earnest. so when the time was right, i agreed to write her a letter of recommendation to my alma mater, the george washington university, as an alum and a wyoming liaison for the school. i was glad to be of help, but wendy's credentials spoke for themselves, and soon she was headed back to washington, d.c., to attend one of the finest schools in the country. later, when i came to washington to serve in the senate, i had a swearing-in reception for friends and extended family to mark the beginning of this new and great adventure in my life.
and, of course, wenty was there. it was at that reception that she met the son of my college roommate, skip ganine, and they started to date. their romance blossomed while she served as an intern for me, and it started to occur to them and to diana and to me how all three of our families could soon be permanently intertwined. what a great gift for all of us. soon wendy was looking for a wedding gown of her own and she and ed were married. not long after their marriage, ed and wendy moved to kuwait to work. they absorbed a great deal of knowledge about the culture and the way of life in the middle east. when they returned to the united states and made their way back to washington, d.c., i learned that wendy was looking for a job. at the time, i happened to be looking for someone who could help me handle constituent mail and services, and she was quickly promoted to legislative assistant, specializing in the foreign relations field. i couldn't think of a better individual to take on those responsibilities than wendy.
i was right, and wendy has been a great, great help with those difficult issues ever since. she did so well, in fact, that i didn't hesitate to expand her responsibilities to include defense, veterans affairs, transportation and the judiciary committee's agenda when the opportunity presented itself. wendy has worked on so many issues of importance over the years -- defense, with a focus on the united states air force and missile communities, helping to start the air force caucus, veterans' health, united nations reform, cuba travel, immigration and gun rights, to name a few. she is now my senior legislative assistant, a title and post she has earned with her hard work and determination to make a difference. as my senior legislative assistant, she has been a captain in the legislative office and she has always made herself available to help guide and direct our efforts as a legislative team. she is also there to provide some good advice on the issues that are coming up and how we can best focus our efforts to
obtain the results we're working together to achieve. now she and her husband are packing up and moving to sheridan, wyoming, where wendy grew up. they will be running a business there and providing some good jobs to the community and some support to the local economy. it's a restaurant so they will be providing some good food to the people of the area, too. although we're sorry to see them go, we couldn't be happier that they're returning to wyoming. i always tell the people from wyoming who come to work for me enjoy your washington experience and learn all you can every day you're here. tomorrow, when you find yourself married with children, don't hesitate to start looking for a way to get back home. as i said, and it bears repeating because it's one of life's great truths, there is no better place to raise your family than wyoming. where you were born, where your roots are strong and your family is nearby to give you the love, guidance and support that helped to make you the person you are
today. of course, it's no surprise that the place that's calling wendy home is one of the most beautiful on earth, wyoming. in the years to come, wyoming will teach wendy's children all about being individuals, trusting in your instincts and facing the future with confidence and faith. it's a great lesson to be learned and there is no better place to learn it than in the great outdoors and open spaces and magnificent mountains of wyoming where life is centered around being a part of the great excellentor and creation of god and with a strong sense of community. for dimenzi, this was a good news-bad news moment. the bad news is we're losing a very special staffer, a good friend and a member of our family. someone who has given so much to everyone she has known or worked with here in my office. the good news is we're not only gaining a constituent who knows us and understands the work we
do every day, wyoming is gaining another family that will forever define for others what's so great about being from the west. diana and i send our best wishes to wendy, ed and their children who must be looking forward to the opportunity to live the life that made wendy what she is today. wendy, we couldn't be more excited for you and for the great opportunities that lie ahead as you begin the new chapter of your life, the great adventure of coming home to wyoming. we know we'll miss seeing you every day, but when we're back home and traveling around in your area, we will expect to see you at our official functions and when we stop by your new business. may god bless you and be with you and your family. good luck, wendy. i yield the floor.
be remembered. it can't be forgotten because it was the worst day on american soil in modern times, the worst day. it was the attack on the world trade center in new york, shanksville, pennsylvania, the fact is right here at the pentagon, there was an attack as well, and the -- these attacks put together such a horrific toll that we must constantly be reminded, and we are every day of the year, we are reminded
that -- how terrible this attack was. it was an unimaginable thing. the picture that we saw on tv this morning, if anyone turned on a tv, on almost every station there was a picture of the strike at the world trade center, an airplane running into it, and the first thing that was thought -- and unfortunately, i was out of the country when this took place and i heard about it on the radio, and saw people in the country that i was in weeping for the giant america. so we thought it was an accidental thing. we're not far from an airport, that it was an error of the pilot, probably a single-engine airplane. nothing could have been further from the truth. this was a designed attack on
this building, with all of the particulars that the terrorists had to have. how long would it take for the steel to melt, where is the best place to strike, what can the consequence of an attack like this be? unimaginable, as i earlier said. in my home state of new jersey, we lost the second highest number of lives of any state in the country. more than 700 people from new jersey perished in this terrible onslaught. september 11, 2001, changed our country forever. we see it, we're reminded about it every day of the year.
if you want to enter many buildings, you have to identify yourself. if you want to get on an airplane, you have to identify yourself. if you want to get on a train, you have to identify yourself. if you want to get in these buildings, you have to identify yourself. this is a habit that grew out of the fear of terrorism. we have over 200,000 people full time employed to protect us against a terrorist attack. although it is 11 years ago, few americans will forget how that peaceful tuesday turned into one of the most unpleasant days, most painful days, most heartfelt days on american soil. we still feel the pain and the
sadness of that day, and when we think about it, mr. president, the biggest price, of course, was paid by the families, the families who lost a son or a daughter or a husband or a wife or a grandparent or a friend or a neighbor. the loss was of ex ciewsh yeasing pain -- ex ciewsh yaiting pain. we lost nearly thousand american lives at the world trade center and in pennsylvania, and at the pentagon. 3,000 american lives in a single day. and i'm reminded since i served in the army during world war ii, that pearl harbor had fewer casualties than did the attack on the world trade center.
that it outdid the number killed immediately at d-day. it was a terrible, terrible tragedy that struck our country. 41 states and territories and more than 90 countries lost at least a member -- a person from that territory. imagine, 90 countries. 41 states. 343 firefighters and 60 police officers were among those who died as they answered desperate calls for help. these people were not resident in the building typically. they came to the building while the flames were there and the soot and the dirt was falling and the building collapsing. they went into those buildings to try and help the people who were screaming and pleading for
help. it's 11 years ago, but americans, many americans are still sick and more than 71,000 americans are still having their health monitored because exposure to the dust, the asbestos, to the chemicals that filled the air. and as we remember those we've lost, we have to have our grief served as a reminder of our resilience and to rebuild our strength. while the scars of 911 may never fully heal, we take some comfort in knowing that in our fight back, we have in some ways confirmed our fight against terrorism. osama bin laden will never take
another innocent american life. but we have got to remember that although bin laden's influence has been eliminated, there are lots of people who want to follow in his footsteps in plotting against america. the everyday lives of all americans have changed forever. we now live in a state of constant vigilance to prevent another attack. i remember not too long ago we used to have announcements, this is an orange color day or a green day or whatever. denoting the risk of an attack from a terror organization or an individual. because of 911, over 200,000 americans go to work every day
from the department of homeland security to protect us, whether, again, it's the airports or buildings or gatherings, athletic gatherings, still you got to show an i.d. to make sure that you can gain entry. so that change made a huge difference in the way we function. it costs time, costs money, it costs inconvenience. nothing, however, as i earlier said, like the loss of a life of a loved one. and we are determined now to remain diligent and strong despite the face of terrorism that is frequently detected in these days. as americans gather today in
tribute to those we lost, we have to remember to keep alive the memories of these americans, those who perished for being in the place they were in, not for anything they did wrong. and so we have to resolve to continue the work of keeping our families safe, our communities strong, and to be reminded about that we still see the direct result from that attack. 71,000 people, including more than 8,000 from new jersey, are currently being monitored for health conditions that resulted from 911 -- 911 world trade center attacks.
70,000 people are having their health monitored. more than 14,000 responders and 2,500 community residents are currently sick, receiving treatment from the world trade center health program. many have perished. and we passed a law to offer compensation and health care to those who were still suffering from the results of that terrible, terrible day. and with that, mr. president, i think that we have to remember that we've got to stay strong. unfortunately, there can't be any relaxation. when you see places like the olympic games or super bowl or things -- days that mark
pleasant competition and fun and youth and energy, when you remember those days and then you got to show identification. that's over 11 years ago that this was begun. and so, mr. president, it's hard to take much consolation except that we know one thing, that we cannot stop protecting our citizens, wherever they are in the world. wherever they are in the world. we've seen attacks take place on foreign soil, people who don't know who they are, some knowing that they're american travelers, some they're knowing they're american diplomats. but there is, again, little satisfaction until one day the world turns more sensible and respects human life.
we hope that that's never the situation never neglected or forgotten. with that, mr. president, i yield the floor and note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: thelerk will call the roll. quorum call: a senator: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from wyoming. mr. enzi: i'd ask that activity under the quorum call be suspended. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. enzi: thank you, mr. president. i came over earlier to speak and talk about dedicated staff person that i had that's going back to wyoming, but i had to wait about 30 minutes while i listened to the senator from iowa talk about a romney-ryan
budget. there is no touch thing. governor romney hasn't put forward a budget for this group. now, congressman ryan, of course, was the budget chairman. he was obligated to do a budget. he did a budget, something that the senate hasn't done. i don't think you can complain about a budget when we've gone three years without a budget. there's a time line for a budget around here. we're supposed to have a budget finished by april 15 of each year. three years, no budget. well, the president submitted his budget to us and that's what we're supposed to work off in the budget committee and i'm on the budget committee. and we've had a little bit of discussion on it in the budget committee, but we haven't gotten to do the budget debate here on the floor, which is one with unlimited amendments, but we have gotten to vote on the president's budget.
at least congressman ryan got some votes for his budget. the president's last two budgets have been voted on by this body, and there hasn't even been a single democrat that was willing to vote for that budget. not a single one. he couldn't persuade one person from his party to go along with the plan that he had for this country. you know what would happen in a corporation if the chairman of the board or the president presented a budget to his board of directors and they rejected it unanimously? he'd be looking for a new job. i think i've heard some suggestions along that line. do you really want to continue
with out-of-control spending? that's what a budget controls. that's where the caps are put on and what the most is that we can spend. and we actually ought to be doing that as we used to do it where there were multiple year caps where we would be stuck with the far-out caps that we projected. it's time that we had a balanced budget around here. now, i applauded the president when he named a deficit commission. that was a great thing. we had -- i was a cosponsor on a bill that came before us here and we didn't have enough votes to pass that bill here. but the president went ahead and did a deficit commission. and he appointed two outstanding people to chair that budget commission, erskine bowles, who is the chief of staff for president clinton, and alan simpson who was a longtime senator here, senator from the west, a member of the revenue committee, and they did some diligent work with the
commission and they came up with a plan. they actually came up with a plan for how we could save america. i did hear the senator from iowa say some of these people talking are talking like we're broke. you know what? we're pretty close to broke. when your national debt is the same as your gross national product, you are in trouble. and the united states, every man, woman, and cield owes a shade over $50,000. you've been seeing the riots in greece and italy. in italy they only owe $40,000 per person. in greece they only owe $39,000 per person. yes, we are the most resilient country in the nation and that's why we are a little breathing room but it's inhaling time. it's time to figure out what we're going to do about it. now, i really did expect after
the president appointed this deficit commission that when they came back with a report and it didn't have enough to force us to have a vote, but it was a report that would solve the situation. they came back with that report and i thought sure that at the state of the union speech the president would paint the same bleak picture that they painted in order to get the deficit report that they got. but instead he promoted another stimulus. had he done that bleak picture, and at the end of his speech said i'm not telling you tonight how to solve it in two weeks when my budget is delivered to the senate, you will see what the deficit commission said we ought to be doing, and we will do it. and i really think that by about may of that year we would have hassled through that situation and we would have adopted most of what they had in that. it would not have been easy,
there would have been a lot of pain and a lot of gain and by this point in time the president would have been a hero instead of the question are you better off now than you were four years ago? we really can't continue the out-of-control spending that we've had. and let me give you an example of what we're doing. we're doing it without a budget. but what we're doing. the highway bill. that's one of the most important bills, everybody admits, for america. we have to have transportation in this country and the highway bill is one of the major ways that we do that. and it creates jobs. as people go out and build the roads or repair the roads and it makes a difference. but here's how we funded the highway bill. now, in the finance committee i suggested that we needed to increase a tax, that we needed to increase the tax on gasoline. that's the tax that funds the
highway trust fund which is the sole source, the place we've gotten the money for building the highways before. but we didn't raise that since 1993. and it ran out of money. now, the deficit commission that president obama appointed suggested that we needed to raise the gas tax five cents a year for three consecutive years if we wanted to build highways. so in the finance committee, i said i'm going to put in something a little bit more modest to see if we have any support for it. put in something that just deals with inflation on the gas tax. and i was told we wouldn't have a vote in the finance committee on it and we didn't have a vote on the finance committee on it. and when it came to the floor, we did not have a vote on that on the floor because we weren't going to raise any taxes. well, let me tell you what the bill does. there's a tax increase in the bill.
we just didn't talk about it -- or, i talked about it but not many people talked about it. there's a tax increase in the bill. there's a tax on any private pension fund in america. that goes into a trust fund supposedly -- i have a little problem with what we call "trust funds " around here because i don't trust any of them. but it's a trust fund because if people are promised a pension, they'll get at least 60% of what they were promised. that's what the tax is for. that's why we do the tax on private pensions. the pension benefit guaranty corporation means that people will get a portion of at least of what they were promised in a private pension. and so we raised a tax to make sure that that would be there and then before it got there, we diverted it, we stole it, we stripped it out and we put it in the highway bill. and we didn't just take two
years' worth -- that's how long the highway -- the bill covers highway construction. it says that we will build in the new two years all the highways we will build and how much they will cost. but from the pension benefit guaranty corporation tax that we increased, we took all of that for ten years to build two years worth of highways. i don't know of anybody that would consider that to be good financial management. highways are essential but that's not good financial management. we've got to stop that trend. and we particularly have to stop stealing from trust funds. now, there is one other source of trust fund in there that i'm particularly sensitive to. there's an abandoned mine land fund, and this is a fund that was set up where coal mined in the west would get an additional tax, which we agreed to and the companies agreed to, and half of
that tax would stay where the coal was mined and the other half would go to the eastern states to reclaim abandoned mines. it's a good idea. well, wyoming mines most of the coal in the united states and so wyoming gets most of the money on that. and there's another a little provision that they stuck in there to affect wyoming. and i don't think by ought to be the sole source of revenue for funding all the highways in the united states. but they took that abandoned mine land money and said that that would go into this highway fund. now, that's a trust fund too and that's kind of done -- we -- we heard about it at 2:00 in the morning the day before we -- we voted on this bill and it was a total shock to us that they were getting into this trust fund that's built as a massive coalition between the east and the west, between companies and between miners who relied on companies that went out of business for their health care.
and abandoned mine land money takes care of that too. but they said, well, for wyoming, we think you get too much money so we're going to strip out the half that you were promised and didn't get for years and years and years and years while you took care of your own problem, and that's in there too. and that's in there for a ten-year period for two years' worth of highway construction. so when we say that america's not broke. america's not broke but it isn't fixed either and it needs to be fixed. and it needs to be fixed legitimately, upfront, telling the people exactly what we're doing. and there's going to have to be a lot of combination of things that have to be done to do it. now, i have suggested one way that it can be done and i have tried to cut things before and i know that if we try to cut a single program -- any single program -- and we have to -- we would have to cut a lot of
programs -- that that program will inundate washington with a few good examples of what that program has done. even though audits of it say that's not really what happened. but those people will flood here, they'll talk to their senators, we'll feel sorry for them, we'll approve the program, we'll continue the program. it's almost impossible to cut a program around here. it's hard to cut the amount of increase that a program gets let alone make an actual cut to a program or, lord help us, eliminate a program altogether. so what are we going to do? i have a 1% solution and that's to take one penny out of every dollar that the american government spends and eliminate that, cut that, save that. one penny out of every dollar. now, people across america when i talk to them about this say, i personally had to make a bigger cut than that.
i could make 1%. the government ought to be able to make 1%. and if the government made 1% for between five and seven years, our budget would balance. now, that's a lot of discipline but it's a little pain for a lot of gain. and i'm pretty sure that if we were able to do that, at the end of one year, people would say, you know, that didn't hurt too bad; we really ought to go for 2% and speed this up because i don't know how much time we have before interest rates go up. and when interest rates go up, they can use up all of the revenue that we have from taxes to pay the interest on the loans that we have out there. we have tremendous debt out there and we better start taking care of it. and i've looked at some ways to do that and i'll share those at another time. but i hope i don't hear a lot about the romney-ryan budget here on the floor when there hasn't been a budget presented and voted on by the other side.
you've got to have the courage to make some cuts. you've got to have the courage to put forward a budget that's on a track, a track somehow to getting us back to solvency. and it better happen pretty fa fast. and so i think i'm going to feel sorry for whoever gets elected president and perhaps whoever's going to be in this body and in the house next year because it's not going to be a pleasant task. we are going to have to buckle down and do the right thing. i got to meet earlier with the new prime minister of italy and i was very impressed with him. he was talking about what he has to do now in order to pull them out of their -- out of their deficit. you remember that we owe $50,000 per person? they owe $40,000 per person. they are taking the hard steps. he's laid out the plan, he's talked to the people that are involved. and over there they have strikes
whenever they get upset with the government. and he had to talk to some of the labor unions, and he said i -- i talked to them and they went out on strike for two hours. of course, usually a minimum strike's three days over there so he felt pretty good about that. but he said, with the changes that he has to make -- and it was a reflection on what we're looking at, too -- with the changes that he has to make, probably none of the people will be there next year. that would be the ones in the cabinet who were sitting there next to him who were just a little bit shocked to hear that. and i think if he does do the plan, i think people will appreciate the way that he's saving their country and that they will put him back in again. but we're looking at some difficult times and we need good solutions, and it's going to mean working across the aisle to make sure that that gets done. our time is short but this is the most resilient country in the world and the rest of the
world is relying on america. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from colorado. a senator: mr. president, i came to the floor to commemorate the events of 11 years ago on september 11 but i wanted to respond to my good friend, fellow westerner, senator enzi from wyoming. mr. udall: i appreciate the sentiments and the tone of his -- his remarks and i respect greatly his financial acumen. we know the training that senator enzi has and i appreciate his call to action hopefully as soon as possible. i'd like to stay in washington and continue to work on a simpson-bowles architecture. i know my colleague from colorado, senator bennet, has spent a great deal of time as a member of the gang of six plus two, crafting legislative language to put the simpson-bowles recommendations into effect. i did, however, want to set the record straight, as i read it
and as i understand it, which is that we have had a budget control act that we -- many of us voted for last year which, in effect, is a budget for 2012 and 2013. and as i'd like to, mr. president, ask unanimous consent to include in the record this documentation of the budget control act. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: and it -- in the language, it reads, "the allegations, aggregates and levels in subsection b-1 shall apply in the senate in the same manner as for concurrent resolution on the budget for fiscal year 2012." that language is duplicated below in the next paragraph for 2013. i think i hear my friend from wyoming suggesting that the process the senate periodically uses to determine a budget is helpful and follows regular order and i agree, but the congress, as you know in the last two years, has been at loggerheads. there have been more emphasis
than i remember in my 12 previous years in the last two years serving in the congress. but we do have a budget in place. it is a budget that reduces federal spending and is a down payment on the hard work we have to do going forward. on the ryan budget, it was promulgated by congressman ryan. i was elected the same year as congressman ryan to the house, i have respect for congressman ryan and his constituents. i just happen to disagree with his priorities, and his budget proposal sets priorities. it's a template. and if you really study what congressman ryan includes, there are concerns that i have that i think are reflected by not just members of my caucus but many americans. there's -- the plan really lacks balance. it doesn't really -- and it doesn't balance at least until 2040, which is not how it's advertised. and why? well, there's no contribution from revenue. there's an increase in defense
spending. and in my opinion, it requires extraordinary and unsustainable cuts to government services. in fact, the federal government would be cut in half. and i don't think there's anybody who's realistic that thinks that's a realistic goal. president reagan's economic advisor, bruce bartlett, was pretty tough on the ryan plan. he called it a monstrosity and pointed out that the -- the ryan plan is backed up by make-believe numbers and unreasonable assumptions. i'd like to include what mr. bartlett put in the record, if i might. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. udall: but in conclusion, i did want to again underline that i find, as always, senator enzi someone who's thoughtful, practical, pragmatic and i heard in his comments a call to action where everything would be on the table, including providing for greater solvency of social security and medicare, for cutting spending and ending duplication but also for looking
for additional revenue, which i think we all agree we could start to do by simplifying the tax code, reducing rates and then taking a look at individual tax rates. i wanted to make those comments before i move to my comments on the anniversary of september is september 11.mr. president, i we years ago. it was a beautiful day. low humidity. for us coloradans, low humidity is something we've come to expect in all cases. bluebird skies. but it turned into a terrible day with terrible events and i thought i'd reflect on what they mean for our country 11 years later for a few minutes. as we've all said today and we all know, these attacks for over etched in our collective memory. we lost 3,000 fellow americans. 3,000.
and they -- it was a diverse cohort of americans. every religion was represented, every race, every region. it was something that even as i try and think about it again, i'm almost overwhelmed. but we -- we also have another memory associated with that day and that was the amazing beyond belief selflessness and bravery of our first responders and the men and women in uniform, as well as the resolve of whole communities who came together to help and comfort one another. late in that day, lawmakers came together on the u.s. capitol steps, mr. president, like we did today, to say, we stand united. during this time, americans seeking some good to come out of these sheer acts of sheer evil
looked to each other and to their leaders in washington to contribute to a greater cause of unity. such a dark time, we saw the very best of america, a nation, a community and a people willing to stand together in the face of adversity that we didn't initially understand or comprehend. that strength of unity brought us together and over the last decade we've made great strides the evil of dterrort of gratitude, a deep debt of gratitude to those on the front lines of that battle. intelligence officers, our men and women in uniform, and countless others have relentlessly pursued our enemies, who seek do us harm, and we must honor their sacrifices. and that brings me to this point, mr. president: every time a veteran is unemployed or has injuries that
aren't well-treated or finds himself or heav herself in a plo dark that suicide seems like the only way out, we've failed in our most solemn duty. we must provide the best possible health care, services, and benefits to those few americans who are willing to risk anything and everything for us. we should be ashamed of anything less. and that's why it's fitting that today, on the anniversary of 9/11, the senate voted to move forward on legislation to help post-9/11 veterans find jobs. now, congress and the administration have been focused on helping these vulnerable veterans find jobs. we've passed legislation, the president has championed initiatives providing tax incentives and grants to businesses to hire veterans and
offering veterans' jobs training programs. but still, mr. president, the unemployment rate for veterans of the afghanistan and iraq wars remains higher than for the general population, and much higher for veterans aged 18 to 24. that simply is not acceptable. we can and we must do better. so the bill that we're going to consider, the veterans job corps act of 2012, is a solid step in the right direction. we all recognize the obstacles that new veterans face in translating their military experience into civilian jobs. we know that that is the case. and in commonsense legislation will attempt to smooth this transition by connecting veterans with good-paying jobs that fit their skill sets and providing our communities with
opportunities to hire veterans as firefighters, police officers to work in the public safety sector, to work in any sector. our veterans believe in themselves. they're up to any charge. they're up for any mission. i had the great privilege -- i know the presiding officer and i serve on the armed services committee; i also serve on the senate intelligence committee. as a member of those committees, i want to urge all of us to pass this bill as soon as possible. there's still time. we could perhaps pass it tonight. i could offer a unanimous consent request. we need to do this in -- and i'm completely serious here, mr. president -- to provide our heroes with a small measure of what we owe them for their incredible service and sacrifice. but as i think more widely, and as i consider what i've heard at home from coloradans far and wide, passing this bill alone is
not enough. and looking back, the days and months after september 11, i can't help but admire our nation's resolve and the sense of togetherness we had in facing a shared chas challenge. but i also can't help but be well-aware that 11 years on we are now a nation at odds. partisanship is at an all-time high, congressional gridlock prevents even commonsense ideas from winning the day, and middle-class americans just wonder when businesses will have the certainty they need to begin hiring again. for me, it seems a powerful argument and a powerful insight that a better future for our country can be and is, if we will hear it, grounded in our nation's seenation's deep-seeder those who against the call of
duty. our military men and women have done their job. the public safety officers in the city of aurora back in july when we experienced such a terrible shooting, they've done their job. but now it's here in the congress time for us to do our job. it's not too late for us to harness the gratitude and the admiration that we have for those who've given everything for the united states and come together once again to do right by the nation that they have fought so hard to secure. so as we remember the events of september 11 and honor those men and women in uniform who fought so hard to keep america safe, we must recognize that our actions, not just our words, in the months ahead may be the greatest way to show our appreciation for
their sacrifice. so let's employ the doggedness of our military men and women, that dougednes doggedness that y exhibit on daily basis, to work together and to cast aside the part sang differences that stand -- the partisan differences that stand in the way of our future process spaimpleprosperity. the american people deserve no less. mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
by a hateful ideology. we of course cannot afford to forget what happened but let's remember what can happen when americans come together. on this national day offer weref remembrance, we honor those who lost their lives 11 years ago, daughters, sons, mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, from various walks of life and avenues of faith. we honor the families of the victims. we honor the survivors. we honor the civil servants and first respoon detection most of them -- and first respoon detection most of them unilateral members. we salute the service members and their families who sacrificed so much since these tragic events, more than a decade later. we all remember where we were on that clear tuesday morning. i remember feeling the fear and uncertainty when gathering my staff in a location near the capitol. regardless of where we were on that fateful day, whether speaking english with a brooklyn being a venbrookaccent or thosee
midwest who speak with a bit of a midwestern accent. we all came together regardless of where we worked. we came together. it is a spit of sol date we reaffirm on this day. we must focus on moving forward as one nation in spite of our differences. thank you, mr. president. mr. president, i note the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: thank you, mr. president. this weekend, i believe it was saturday, i was in lordstown, ohio, celebrating the first anniversary of the first chevy cruze that came off the g.m. line. i was there the day the first cruzes came off the line, painted red, white, and blue, representing the determination of workers and that company and the nation to succeed to bounce back despite national naysayers who were willing to stand idly by while our economy stalled. we read it in newspapers, we saw it on television, we heard it on the radio how some selected officials not just wanted to turn their back on an industry that has provided middle-class wages and college educations and homes and cars to millions of americans would not just turn their back on that industry but a number of elected officials went to bat against the american
auto industry. during the height of the economic crisis when american manufacturing was sputtering -- and you know the statistics, mr. president, bass you have paid attention in your state of alaska, as it is not so much a manufacturing state but a state that contributes a lot to manufacturing. you know what's happened in this country. from 2000-2010, we lost five million manufacturing jobs. that was one-third of all the manufacturing jobs in this country. 60,000 plants closed in the united states in that decade, but since -- and more on that in a moment -- because of the auto rescue, because we now have a federal government that's willing to enforce trade laws, we have seen a growth of 500,000 manufacturing. first time we have seen month to month to month manufacturing job growth almost every month for two-plus years, first time since 1999 in this country we have actually seen any manufacturing job growth. some said let the industry go bankrupt.
presidential candidates said -- i believe his words were along the lines of to detroit drop dead, that it wasn't something we wanted to do, to do anything to help that industry. they were willing to let the auto industry go bankrupt and then see what happens. they thought it was okay, some of these naysayers thought it was okay to bail out wall street, they thought it was okay to pad the salaries of reckless bankers who drove our economy off a cliff. it wasn't the auto worker, the nonunion auto worker in marysville that built the honda. it wasn't the chrysler auto worker in toledo that built the wrangler or liberty, it wasn't the chevy auto worker in lordstown that built the cruze, it wasn't the auto worker in defiance that built the engine or the glass worker in crestline that made the glass or the steelworker or the mill worker,
it wasn't they who caused the collapse of this economy and caused the problems with the banks, but in many ways, they were blamed by the people who bet against america who were willing to say it's okay to pad the salary of reckless bankers even though they are the ones that drove the economy off the cliff. they railed against rescuing auto workers in places like holmesville and waverly and middletown and youngstown. well, the easy road -- and it wasn't an easy road by a long shot. the easy road is not always the right path, not when this many jobs are at stake, creating these kinds of wages, strengthening the middle class. the chevy cruze represents what was at stake. three taste ago when i was in lordstown, we marked the day of the anniversary, the two-year anniversary. how resilient we can be when we make decisions, not based on politics, mr. president, but on what's best for the country. plain and simple, the auto rescue is the right choice. just last year the cruze was awarded 2011 car of the year by the north american dealer
association. now it's the best-selling compact car in america. my daughter drives one. my wife traded in her 6-year-old pontiac vibe and bought a chevy cruze. a few short years ago, a thousand workers near lordstown in youngstown were laid off. today nearly 5,000 workers build one of the fastest selling cars in the country. for people like glenn johnson, who is the local president in the lordstown assembly plant, the politically unpopular decision to save the auto industry was about saving the livelihood for hard-working families in ohio and in the midwest. two years later, we're moving forward, g.m. profits are up, g.m. has been profitable for ten consecutive quarters. none of the naysayers thought that could possibly happen. none of the naysayers were willing to invest in g.m. to find the private capital. it only happened because taxpayers stepped forward because the government was willing to understand and recognize that this mattered for our country. g.m. has ameltdownsed plans to make a $200 million additional
investment in lordstown now where they have added an additional shift to produce the chevy cruze. chrysler has invested tens of millions of dollars in toledo. honda has invested tens of millions of dollars in a new model in marysville. ford has invested tens of millions of dollars in cleveland. in all three american auto companies and the major u.s. auto transplant honda have all made major investments in ohio since the auto industry, since the auto rescue. the cruze epitomizes how central the auto industry is in ohio. the engine for the cruze, is made in defiance. the transmission is made in toledo. the brackets are made in brunswick. the glass is the glass for the wrangler is made in crestline. the sound system for the cruze is made in springboro. the steel for the cruze, underneath steel comes from middletown. the exposed steel comes from
cleveland. the seat frame comes from lorain, the seats are made in warren. 5,000 -- the aluminum for the echo -- for the chevy cruze echo comes from cleveland. the car is assembled by 5,000 workers in lordstown, ohio. the success story goes far beyond one state, but in my state alone, hundreds of thousands of jobs are associated with the auto industry. 120,000 ohioans are directly employed by automakers, dealers and supply chain parts manufacturers, but, mr. president, we know even with that success, even with the success of enforcing trade laws, which have turned into -- as a result of enforcing trade rules, we have a new steel mill in youngstown, more tires are made in findlay, more aluminum is made in heath and in sidney, ohio. more steel is made in lorain, more steel is made in cleveland. because we have enforced trade rules, that doesn't mean we don't need to do more. the economy is still not what it
should be. our employment rate from two years ago went from over 10.5% to under 7.5%, but it's clearly still not enough because far too many workers in america, in ohio and alaska, all over, are underemployed or are unemployed. we're moving in the right direction. just like i said, since january, 2010, after a decade, a full decade of manufacturing job loss from 2000 to 2010, five million manufacturing jobs lost, we have gained 500,000 manufacturing jobs in those two years. supporting america means valuing workers, it's patriotic to support america's middle class. when it comes to protecting american workers and supporting american manufacturers and boosting america's middle class, we still have much to do, we made major progress in the last three years, we have much to do, we have no choice but to move forward. thank you, mr. president.
mr. brown: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from ohio. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent the senate proceed to a period of morning business with senators permitted to speak therein for up to ten minutes each. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the senate proceed to the immediate consideration en bloc of the following resolutions which were submitted earlier today -- s. res. 548, s. res. 549 and s. res. 560. the presiding officer: without objection. the senate will proceed to the measures. mr. brown: i ask unanimo consent the resolutions be. the presiding officer, the preambles be agreed to, the motions to reconsider be laid on the table en bloc with no intervening action or debate, and that any statements related to the resolutions be printed in the record at the appropriate place as if read. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: i ask unanimous consent to revise and extend my remarks the senate adjourn until 9:30 a.m. on wednesday,
september 12, following the prayer and 34re7b8g, the morning business be deemed expired, the time for the two leaders reserved for their use later in the day, that the senate resume consideration of the motion to proceed to s. 3457, the veterans job corps act post-cloture and the first 70 minutes be equally divided and controlled by the two leaders or their leaders or are in designees. further that all time during adjournment recess and morning business be countied post-cloture on the motion to proceed to s. 3457. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. brown: we'll begin consideration of the veterans job corps act tomorrow. senators will be notified when votes are scheduled. if there is no further business to come before the senate i ask that we adjourn under the previous order. the presiding officer: the senate will stand adjourned until september 12, wednesday, until september 12, wednesday,
>> you're watching c-span2 with politics and public affairs weekdays feature live coverage of the u.s. senate. on weeknights watch key public policy fans. every weekend the latest nonfiction authors and books on booktv. you can see past programs and get our schedules at our website. you can join in the conversation on social media sites. >> actress kathleen turner is chairman of planned parenthood's board of advocates. she talked about the importance of reproductive rights in this year's elections.
>> good afternoon. welcome to the national press club. minus theresa werner and 9105th president of the national press club. we are the world leading professional organization for journalists committed to our professions future through our program and events such as this while fostering a free press worldwide. for more information about the national press club, please visit our website at www.press.org. to donate your program offer to the public the national press club journalism institute, please visit press.org/institute. on behalf of our members worldwide i'd like to welcome our speaker and those of you attending today's event. our head table includes guest of our speaker as was working journalists who our club members. and if you're applause in our audience we would know that members of the general public are intending so it is not
necessarily evidence of a lack of journalistic objectivity. i'd also like to welcome our c-span and/or public radio audiences. our lunch and also featured are a member produced weekly podcasts from the national press club, available on itunes. you can also follow the action on twitter using hashtagging pc lunch. after our guest speech concludes i will ask as many questions -- ask as many questions as time permits. now i would like to introduce her head table guests, and i would ask each of you to stand up briefly as you name is announced a. from your right, mark, senior associate editor, "kiplinger"'s personal finance magazine and member of the national press club board of governors. laura lee, editorial assistant at npr. mary lou donohue, editor of artistically speaking with mary lou donohue and art website. mali smith, arena stage artistic
director. larry lipman, a senior editor at aarp bulletin, and former national press club president. rachel weisz, daughter of our speaker and singer-songwriter. >> alison fitzgerald, freelance journalist and chairwoman of the speakers committee. i'm going to speaker skipper -- speaker. maryland, editor at npr and member of the speakers committee and organizer of today's event. phyllis, guest of our speaker. peggy angle, playwright and press club institute member. nancy hughes, spokeswoman for the national health council. and julio ali auger, freelance journalist. [applause] >> our speaker today, kathleen turner, is an actress and a civic activist.
she first came to prominence in the early 1980s when she starred as maddie playing opposite william hurt in the thriller body heat. she went on -- [applause] >> she went on to star in a wide range of popular films and plays, it even provided the voice for jessica rabbit, the acclaimed animated movie, who framed roger rabbit. but even as her acting career was blossoming, turner maintain a deep interest in civic events. the daughter of a foreign service officer, she lived as ago in venezuela, canada, england and cuba. she graduated from the american school in london and later from the university of maryland baltimore county. she has been a decades long member of people for the american way, and a longtime supporter of amnesty international. she not only thinks globally, but ask locally through city meals with whom she volunteers as a meal deliver in new york
city where she lives. [applause] >> turner serves as the chair of the planned parenthood federation of american board of advocates, and has testified before congress on reproductive rights which is your topic here today. besides acting and doing political work, turner is doing one thing, helping keep the spirit of mali allies. she was a newspaper columnist whose wit and passion for politics made her a legend. turner knew her. that's because when former texas governor ann richards was undergoing cancer treatment in manhattan, she happened to move into turner's apartment building. one day i was visiting with richard and they ran into turner. they invited her out for an evening of laughter, tall stories and giving turner a unique appreciation of life and spirit. later when market and go, a journalist known to many of us here in d.c. and her twin sister
allison wrote the play, red hot pitcher, turner became its star. turner is appearing here in town at arena stage now through october 28. and if you haven't already seen the play, the national press club journalism institute has tickets available for special performance on september 13, where ms. turner will meet the group after the performance. please welcome kathleen turner. [applause] >> it is an honor and a pleasure to be back at the national press club. the last time i was here, i was speaking for child health. now, someone had even been quite a competent. by pointing out that no one asked a single question after about my films.
i have spent a good amount of time in washington, d.c. as an advocate for the arts. as chair of the board of advocates for planned parenthood, as a board member of people for the american way, and i'm extremely happy to be here. and i love performing mali ivins at arena stage. now, i will confess that at one point i came very close to spending a lot more time here than i anticipated. save 15 or 20 years. i came to washington with joseph the late founder of the newark public here. we were here to lobby for continued funding for the national endowments of the arts. we met with senator strom thurmond. now, i said something that i deeply believed, that what we have left of the societies and civilizations that preceded us, more than any other aspect are
the arts. the paintings, the literature, the music, the architecture. these are the legacies left to us. now, our own art are what we believe to the future. well, senator thurmond didn't exactly -- we weren't on the same page. [laughter] he said now little lady, which, of course, pleased me to no end -- [laughter] now, little bit, i've been around or along longer than you have. well, i've always liked blondes. well, i'm here to tell you that this funding just ain't going to happen, honey, little baby. i swear i had my arm cocked back. and thank goodness joseph papp grabbed my wrist and pulled it down. because i thought one more little lady and he was going to lose his teeth or dentures or
whatever the hell they were. [laughter] fortunately we managed to get out of there with strom thurmond smile and my freedom in tact. and the national endowments for the arts continue to exist though not with the same funding or freedom that england enjoyed. now, that story will tell you something about my approach to activism, a word which comes by the way from the same route as actor, which means also one who participates. see, i believe passionately in being engaged as a citizen, about causes that i care about. now, one of the benefits of having achieved the level of success that i have is i can use my voice to bring attention to things. and the benefit of having achieved the age that i have is
i had the experience and the legitimacy to speak in my own voice, to speak the truth as i see it, and not give a damn whether someone might get upset about what i have to say. i do not lend my name to groups to use on the list. i invest any issues i care about and the organizations i respect. and i give what time i can. when i'm home in new york city i am a board member and volunteer for city meals on wheels. sometimes i get to deliver to older people who can no longer get out. now, many of them don't know who i am. except the person from city meals. and a couple of times they have given me the compliment of things that i should consider acting, because -- [laughter] because i have such a nice voice.
[laughter] now one of the issues i care most deeply about is the health, safety, well being and rights of women. i am shocked that in this years election women are facing the biggest threats to the freedom that i've seen in my lifetime. consider family-planning. now, the center for disease control considers the availability of family-planning, the ability of women to get, to have greater control over the timing and number of children they have. to be one of the top health advantages of the 20th century. numerous research papers have linked the introduction of the birth control pill with positive social and economic gains for women. from completing higher education, to marrying later, for narrowing the pay gap. earlier this year, the national
bureau of economic research found that earlier access to the pill was a link to hire hourly wages later in life. now, this is no trifling plant in a sagging economy that is buttressed by roughly 40% of working lives out earning their husbands. so why here, in the 21st century are so many people trying to reduce women's access to family-planning? it does seem as though we are going back in time. i just, it simply does not make sense. didn't you journalists just feel some professional sympathy for andrea mitchell, not to try to keep a straight face and go on with an interview when conservative funder foster friess told her towels, save on contraception if they put an
aspirin between their knees? all right, all right, that was pretty silly. in fact, that was especially silly, but attacks on family-planning are not a joke. last year, seven states restricted or barred any family planning funds for going to planned parenthood, or any other health care provider that also provides abortions. when i was visiting the planned parenthood affiliate in los angeles, it happens to be a day when they were providing abortions. now, the doctor in charge of the clinic whispered to me, as we toured, that, of course, friday's was the day that they offered a second. well, i had to ask her if they had ever encountered people outside the clinic trying to stop men from entering. [laughter] it's just something to think
about. now, one in five women in america use or have used planned parenthood services, much to the benefit of men also. but all over the country, conservative politicians try to outdo each other in calling for the destruction of planned parenthood. do they really have no concern for the millions of women who rely on planned parenthood for basic health care? and yet the contraception is a basic health care. it is essential to the health of women and the well being of their families. if a woman cannot control her reproductive choices, she cannot control her life. every single republican in the house of representatives has voted to end title x, family planning funding. every single one.
these are the same people who keep talking about saving the taxpayers money. now, according to the guttmacher institute, publicly funded family planning services help women avoid 1,940,000 unintended pregnancies each year. which would result in 860,000 unintended births, and 810,000 abortions. now, every dollar saved taxpayers, $3.74 in medicaid costs, eliminating the family planning program which cost taxpayers billions of dollars in increased health care. and then we have the so-called personhood bill. now, these would give full legal rights to a socket at the moment sperm meets egg. fraga, i've always wondered how do they know?
[laughter] the personhood movement, not only proposes to redefine pregnancy is occurring at the moment of fertilization, even though up to half of fertilized eggs do not result in a sustainable pregnancy. but also once i get weeks away from a potential pink plus sign on a stick to be recognized as a complete human being with equal rights. now, this would criminalize many of the most common forms of contraception, not to mention the in vitro fertilization treatment and stem cell research, as well as obligated the legality of medical intervention in the event of a life-threatening pregnancy. now, what i wish to tell you is
this personhood law was even too extreme for the voters of mississippi. the voters of mississippi actually rejected it. but mitt romney has said he used for creating legal protections against the constitution if necessary from the moment of conception. now, either he doesn't really believe that ad is saying what he needed to say to get the nomination, or he does believe it, in which case american women and the men in their lives had better understand what this could mean. and we need to explain this to people because mr. romney most certainly is not going to. the future of planning -- family planning and -- are not the only thing at stake for women in this election. access to health care is on the
line. some people are saying they will not participate in an expansion of medicaid under the affordable health care act. that would leave more women outside the safety net, and, of course, mr. romney has promised to get rid of this altogether. we are already seeing the effects in texas. last year governor perry slashed funding for women's health, resulting in more than 180,000 women losing access to preventive health care this year. and he has effectively sabotaged the medicaid women's health program, which provides preventing care, including cancer screenings, to 130,000 low-income women each year. now, earlier this year, mr. romney said he would oppose the blunt amendment, which would allow any employer to restrict
teen employees health coverage based on the employers religious beliefs. now, that did not go over too well with the far right. so it took him about an hour to back away from that position, and to say that he does in fact support the amendment, which would endanger access to contraception for 20 million american women. now, doctor linda rosenstock who is a dean of public health school at ucla, and chair of the nonpartisan institute of medicine's committee on preventative services for women says tom if every employer could decide what services they thought their employees should get, if we all of a sudden open up our health care system like that we would reach have a. what if an employer didn't like vaccinations. some of them don't.
we cannot have employers dictating health care for individuals. and there's domestic violence which affects one in four american woen during their lifetimes. according to the justice department, three women die every day as result of domestic violence. in the past, the violence against women act was passed with strong bipartisan support. but right now its reauthorization is being held up because republicans in the house of representatives objected to provisions that would strengthen protections for native american women, immigrant women and lgbt victims of domestic violence. and how about fair pay? women make 77 cents to the dollar, relative to men. now in 2009 congress passed president obama's signed the
lilly ledbetter fair pay act. it was named for a woman who was discriminated against by her employer, for more than two decades. but could not get justice because the supreme court conservative majority came up with a creative new way to -- against job discrimination. the lilly ledbetter act provides stronger protection for women in the workplace, but some states are now doing the opposite, weakening women's legal protections against discrimination. it was brought to my attention the other day that the extraordinary money wielded by a few men behind the far right, conservative movement, is aimed perhaps not so much at electing romney and ryan, but, in fact, at winning the senate. now who knows what would happen
if that were in republican hands. so all right, all right. why? why? when women are 51% of the workforce, 57% of higher education degrees, primary caregivers at home, primary and consumer force in the marketplace. why have we done so little to protect ourselves in this political arena? so little to demand equal representation. [applause] >> i want you to imagine something with me. imagine if there was to be one day, say the monday after mother's day, easily communicated now by our social media, when women choose to stay home. not to gather anywhere, or under the aegis of any organization,
just stay home. sit down for a day and gather our collective breath. now, you can imagine what kind of mayhem this would be. [laughter] from the juice in the morning to the commit to the workplace, from the operator room, the court, television, national defense, the food industry, transportation, all the way through, none of it works. without the women of america. well, we would surely show the country what an essential element we are, but perhaps more important, we might show ourselves. [applause] i do have hope that the next generation will be different.
people for the american foundation, american way foundation, has a young elected officials network that we have hundreds of people have made into public office before the age of 35. this includes some exceptional young women. who i know will be serving in congress before long. they are not willing to be complacent, or compliance or complicit in letting ideologue determine their health and welfare, or restrict their possibilities in life. and we need more women to follow their example. if not, to run for office themselves, then actively take part in this election. see, i believe women can be in 2012 with the youth was in 2008. i know that all of you might not
make it to arena stage. some going to give you a little piece of mali here. all right. once upon a time we had a newspaper editor in waco named william brandt. now, he hated three things. hypocrisy and baptists. he said the only trouble with our texas baptist is we do not hold them under water long enough. [applause] [laughter] now, brandon left us when he was shot in the back by an irate baptist. lying on the sidewalk dying he got to his own gun and blew his motor to kingdom come. well, that is one way to get out of town. but i need more than that. i need a trumpet call here. i need people in the streets
banging pots and pans. do not throw away our legacy, out of cynicism or boredom, or neglect. you have more political power and 99% of the people who have ever lived on this planet. you can vote, you can register others, you can make signs, march all your life no matter what else you do, you have another job. you are a citizen. now politics today stinks. it is rotten. these are some bad, ugly angry times and i am so freaked out. but politics is not about left or right. it's about up and down. the few, it's not too hard to figure how to fix this. stopped letting big money by our elections. here's what's going on. every calculating